More care like Linda’s – how we’re transforming cancer services 

10/06/2016 00:00 
Linda Hill, diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia in 2014, shared her story earlier this week with an audience of 200 people who came to hear about improvements to local cancer services and plans for future developments.
 

The event launched the UCLH cancer collaborative and looked back at the work of London Cancer in the last year.

London Cancer connects a system of hospitals, academic partners and community services in north and east London to share expertise and resources to improve local services and outcomes for patients. The UCLH cancer collaborative is part of the national cancer vanguard, which aims to set the gold standard for cancer care which can be replicated across the NHS.

The event focused on earlier diagnosis, reducing variation and improving access to innovation and included examples of initiatives across north east London, such as how lung cancer can be diagnosed earlier and an overview of how re-configured services across north east London and west Essex have delivered real and significant benefits for patients.

One such patient was Linda Hill. Linda was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia in November 2014 following a routine blood test. Following two rounds of chemotherapy, Linda felt well but relapsed and eventually had a donor transplant at The Royal Free Hospital.

Linda’s care was transferred to UCLH following a re-organisation of services in December 2015 which saw the creation of UCLH as a specialist centre for the treatment of blood cancers. She talked about her experience, “My care transferred from a busy hospital environment to the University College Hospital Macmillan Cancer Centre seamlessly.  I continue to be treated at the Cancer Centre on an ambulatory basis which feels so much more relaxed.  There is a wonderful air of calm throughout the building which is much less stressful for the patient.  It’s a large building but never feels crowded.  From a patient’s point of view, there seems to be seamless cohesion between all departments at the Cancer Centre and University College Hospital, giving patients complete confidence at a very difficult time. My treatment at both the Royal Free and UCLH showcase the NHS at its best and I am indebted to both hospitals and their staff for their amazing care".

Professor Kathy Pritchard-Jones, chief medical officer of London Cancer and UCLH cancer collaborative, said “It was great to hear about the positive changes already happening in our local area.  We want everyone’s experience of our services to be like Linda’s.  The event clearly demonstrated how bringing people together and sharing ideas and expertise is key to making lasting improvements to patient care and patient experience".

Jonathan Gardner, UCLH cancer programme director said, “We were delighted to welcome so many patients, teams from local acute and primary care providers, pharmaceutical companies and charities in our audience.  This really reflects the collaborative ethos of the work undertaken by London Cancer in the past year, and of the UCLH cancer collaborative going forward”.

The event also included discussions about how to build on these successes for the future.  UCLH cancer collaborative will work closely with London Cancer to bring together local organisations and teams.  In 2015, NHS England designated UCLH, together with The Christie and The Royal Marsden – as the national cancer vanguard. Click here to read more about  vanguards.

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